Wednesday, 20 February 2008

Chess Moves- Remixed by Keith Le Blanc

Originaly published in Notion Magazine - March 08


There are plenty of examples of the old adage ‘If it aint broke- don’t fix it’, but maybe none more self evident than the shameless remixing of a labels back catalogue to flog ‘product’.

Enter then, Keith Le Blanc mainstay of thstone cold classic blues of all time.

Why then mix the two? In a never more obvious case of, ‘if it aint broke’ Le Blanc and Chess Records founder Marshall Chess have joined forces to rework the labels impeccable back catalogue.

The artist nurtured under Chess patronage in the 1950’s such as Howlin’ Wolf, Muddy Waters and Memphis Slim; provided the backbone of blues that launched the careers of Elvis, The Beatles and The Stones and in turn provided a catalyst for the sixties and the cultural explosion that followed.

In their original versions, songs such as Howlin’ Wolfs Moanin at Midnight or Little Walters ‘Out Go The lights’ crackle with heartfelt blues and bad ass rhythmic power.

The original Blues were a direct and authentic link to the plight of the African people, so why chose to litter them seemingly randomly with meandering wah-wah guitar and the non legendary sound of studio trickery?

Le Blanc has proved himself as a virtuoso musician with his enviable legacy of work; however he does little here apart from add random doodling and compression effects to render these mythical tracks irrelevant.


1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Why is this not a surprise coming from a man who produced one of the greatest atrocities of recording history - a similar attempt to "update" the already perfect Muddy Waters with "Electric Mud"....? He had more than 30 years of ridicule over that one but still didn't learn?? What a schmuck.....